Medicine

Wind Farms In The North Atlantic Could Power Up The World?

Wind Farms In The North Atlantic Could Power Up The World?

The scientists also note that storms over the mid-latitude oceans regularly transfer wind energy down to the surface from high altitudes making a much higher upper limit on how much energy wind turbines can capture than on land.

According to the research, the majority of energy captured by large wind farms originates high up in the atmosphere and is transported downwards to the surface where the turbines are able to generate the energy from the strong winds.

Still, there's an overarching message in the study: Open oceans boast a huge potential for providing the world with an alternative energy source, and while covering all of Earth's oceans with wind turbines is remarkably impossible, it's still promising. For the regions the researchers looked at specifically, the wind speed rates were on average 70 percent higher than the wind speed rates on land were. By GCR staff0 CommentsA wind farm in the middle of the North Atlantic would be five times as efficient as one onshore and could provide limitless low-priced energy, says a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"In the summer such wind farms could merely generate enough power to cover the electricity demand of Europe, or possibly the United States alone". The study is based on computer models that compared the productivity of large Kansas wind farms to imagined, massive wind farms erected in the open seas.

Stanford's Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology researchers are behind this new theoretical study.

As expected, the results showed a significant gap between land-based and sea-based wind energy. At onshore facilities, each turbine weakens the power generation potential of each additional turbine downwind of it in a phenomenon known as a "wind shadow".

As a result, more energy is drawn from the atmosphere than over land, which helps to combat the problem of turbine drag.

Two of Carnegie's researchers Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira wanted to know if setting up a wind farm in the open ocean (the North Atlantic to be specific) could generate more electricity than a wind farm on land, five times more energy in fact. This contrast in surface warming along the USA coast drives the frequent generation of cyclones or low-pressure systems, that cross the Atlantic and are very efficient in drawing the upper atmosphere's energy down to the height of the turbines.

Wind power production in the deep waters of the open ocean is in its infancy of commercialization.


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